Biodiversity

Monday, May 08, 2006

THE FORMS OF THE SOCIAL LIFE THAT OCCUR IN INSECTS

Insects are small living animals which have four wings and usually wings, for example ants, butterflies, and flies etc. Insects are invertebrate animals in the class insecta. Their adult bodies are divided into head, thorax and abdomen. These animals have three pairs of segmented legs which are attached thorax and one pair of antennae. Insect that are fall under subclass Pterygota have two pairs of the wings and the insects fall under the subclass Apterygota does not have wings. Insects are ecologically important as other animals such as herbivores, predators, parasites and scavengers. They are also considering being the most successful group of organisms on the Earth.


Insects have a complex life cycle consists of many small part transformation known as metamorphoses. Insects have different body shapes, functions and behaviours at each stage of metamorphoses. Butterflies, moths and true flies are the insects that have more complicated life cycle which also have four stage including eggs, larva, pupa and adult. Spring tails and bugs are the insects that have less complex development which include eggs, nymp and adult stages. Most of the insects are non-social and some species have developed complex social behaviours, they are living together and caring for eggs. The young once are the offspring of a single female known as the queen and this system is common in insects such as bees, wasps, ants and termites.


The life of insects is in danger in many ways. They may be eaten by other insects, birds, and some other animals etc. Human being may kill them by crushing, burning or poisoning them. The parasites which are the animals, who feed on living animals, may kill and eat them; and disease may also kill them. Insects may also killed by cold weather. The other things is that a dry spell may cause the plant the shrink, dries up and dies and this means that insects that depend on that plant may suffer and end up dieing. Even if the insects and other species can survive these dangers, it means that there will be running out of the food supply and it also means that they will die because of the shortage of their food.


An insects developed many ways of their life survival. They adapted themselves to a living conditions and developed many ways to get away from their enemies. Most of insects spend a lot of time on eating and reproducing and everything they do is related to those two activities. Insects can also communicate to each other and they can get the message by touching and smelling, for example, the queen releases airborn chemicals called pheromones and foreign insects can be attact by this chemicals. Social insects also share information about food, for example, ants lay scent trails that lead to feeding site and bees returning to the hive dance that shows the direction of the food sources. So with this information, other insects can find sources of food away from that area.


Communication is an important for mating and defence among the nonsocial insects. Insects such as grasshoppers, crickets and cicadas produce their sound which can attract mating parterners and this process is called stridulation. Stridulation involves rubbing one body part against another to produce sound and cicadas produce sound by clicking a taut membrane. Their ears are called tympana and they use them to detecting one another’s song. Some insects use their antennae to hear sound made by other species members. Mosquitoes use their featherlike antennae to hear the sound of the female wing-beats and water strides use their legs to attract.


References:

Wikipedia contributors. Arthropod [internet].wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia, 2006, May 8, 3:40 UCT [cited 2006 May 6]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org.wiki/Arthropod

Wikipedia contributors. Insects [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia, 2006, May 8, 3:40 UCT [cited 2006 May 6]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org.wiki/insects



Lizzy Maluleke
CSIR PTA
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Cell number 072 351 8488
Tell [012] 841 2133
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E-mail mmaluleke@csir.co.za
Weblog: http://mmaluleke.blogspot.com

9 Comments:

  • Hi Lizzy!

    The main problem with this piece is that it contains very little information relevant to the questio being addressed - you provide a lot of info, but practically nothing about insect social life. Also, please watch your grammar. It's fine to reference Wikipedia, but it's always a good idea to check out other sources as well.

    Cheers
    Nick

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